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Who loves pet rodents?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I just got a pet Rat. I am allergic to the pine/cedar type bedding. I am thinking I might try clay cat litter. Any suggestions? I am afraid that little Gilda with eat the clay. She is a cute little thing.
post #2 of 18
My favs are hamsters, then mice. I really don't like rats; not afraid of them and they are pretty colors, but just don't like them that much.

Can you use plain paper towels for bedding and just change it when needed. I'd be afraid of clay litter.
post #3 of 18
My sister uses yesterdays news for her Rats.
She even oaid 1800 to try to save Oscar last July and he died.
I am not into Rats but she is crazy about them.
post #4 of 18
You should never use cedar or pine anyway, the oils that hide the odors will actually destroy the lungs of small animals.
I used carefresh bedding and gave them fleece blanket pieces (rat sized) to cozy up into.
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
You should never use cedar or pine anyway, the oils that hide the odors will actually destroy the lungs of small animals.
I used carefresh bedding and gave them fleece blanket pieces (rat sized) to cozy up into.
I have heard this as well..I have had several hamsters over the years and have always used shredded newspaper and paper towels...Very easy just tear it into strips..It's cheap, easy to clean and if you put it in a plastic bag and add 1 teaspoon of baking soda then shake it up it will as be deodorized...The little critters love it because they can burrow throw it and use it to build little nests.
post #6 of 18
I tried this 'cotton type' stuff earlier this year, for my two gerbils, and I loved it; just doesn't fit in my budget, as one small bag (two changes) costs slightly more than the huge thing of pine shavings I can buy, that lasts them...well...forever, it seems...Lol!

I don't remember what it is called, but it is a bedding that is endorsed by Animal Planet...
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
You should never use cedar or pine anyway, the oils that hide the odors will actually destroy the lungs of small animals.
I used carefresh bedding and gave them fleece blanket pieces (rat sized) to cozy up into.
That's interesting; I have used pine (never Cedar, as it can burn their little paws, when wet), for as long as I have owned little rodents, and I have had rats live well into their 7th and 8th years...I had a mouse that lived 8 years...he was my first mouse, too. My two gerbils, that I have now, are over 2 years old...

I wouldn't use newspapers as a bedding, though...the ink and chemicals that are used to make them could be toxic to them, as well.

I give mine some TP to rip and burrow in...although they dig some enormous holes into the shavings too...Lol!
post #8 of 18
I do rodent rescue (mainly deal with rats) and have been involved with many rat rescues. And am a rodent enthusiast.

Please do NOT use pine or cedar bedding. They ARE bad for ALL small animals.

Also, NEVER use clay cat litter. It is FAR too dusty for rats, and any other rodent. They have very delicate respiratory systems.

The only safe shavings are aspen (I use that). You can also use feline pine and yesterdays news. Don't use newspaper, doesn't hold odors at all and is messy!!

For my rats cage (They have a really large ferret cage) I line the shelves with fleece, and then they have their litter boxes with aspen. Its very easy to litter train rats, but you CANNOT use cat litter!!

And I wanted to mention, rats are EXTREMELY social animals and its not fair for them to live alone. They THRIVE off of rat companionship. And even if you could spend the entire day with your rat, its still unfair for them to live alone.

Quote:
tried this 'cotton type' stuff earlier this year,
That would be carefresh.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Punkygirl0101 View Post
I do rodent rescue (mainly deal with rats) and have been involved with many rat rescues. And am a rodent enthusiast.

Please do NOT use pine or cedar bedding. They ARE bad for ALL small animals.

Also, NEVER use clay cat litter. It is FAR too dusty for rats, and any other rodent. They have very delicate respiratory systems.

The only safe shavings are aspen (I use that). You can also use feline pine and yesterdays news. Don't use newspaper, doesn't hold odors at all and is messy!!

For my rats cage (They have a really large ferret cage) I line the shelves with fleece, and then they have their litter boxes with aspen. Its very easy to litter train rats, but you CANNOT use cat litter!!

And I wanted to mention, rats are EXTREMELY social animals and its not fair for them to live alone. They THRIVE off of rat companionship. And even if you could spend the entire day with your rat, its still unfair for them to live alone.


That would be carefresh.
Thank you Punky. That was helpful. I am using feline pine right now. I am so glad I asked about the clay. Does not solve my pine allergy problem, but Lots of good smart advice. Sorry to say that she is an only rat, I do spend my time alone with her all day. Her and my Kitty while the husband is at work. Good thing is that my cat is older and seems to have lost her hunting instincts. We seem to be a happy family. As others have mentioned I would never leave them alone unsupervised any way.

If I may ask , What are good rat toys? Every night I try to put somthing new in her cage to keep her smart brain working?

All so thanks to the other replies.
post #10 of 18
I've got pet rats!!

I would use the recycled paper bedding. It's at walmart and all pet stores. It's a great odor obsorber!
post #11 of 18
I love my rats! I have two right now, left from a mischief of six.

I use fabric (fleece) and they are litter box trained to use a box filled with yesterday's news, a rolled paper newspaper litter. It's good with odor and I like it better than the fluffy paper kind.

You've already heard the spiel about pine, cedar, and clay, so hi!

Rats should always have friends, unless they're aggressive towards other rats... It keeps them happy and gives them someone to play with in the middle of the night.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Is it called a ,'Mischief of Rats'? That is fun. I am listening to all who said She needs a friend. She dosent have one right now but I am having deep thoughts about it.

Any advice about taming? I pretend I am a rat and do little scrathy things on her. Like how she cleans herself. Mimicing. To get her used to my hands.

you Rat people have all been so cool.....Thanks
post #13 of 18
Yes, groups of rats are called Mischiefs (And for good reason lol)!!

I am glad you are considering getting her a friend! Trust me, I have had lone rats before, and rats are so much more happier with companions! Imagine as a human living your entire lfie with only a cat as company. You would never truly be as happy as you would with another human being!

As for taming, give her time and be patient! It takes while! There is a method if he is rather skittish, and that is to hold her for one minute without letting her leave your hands/arms. And give her LOTS and lots of treats!! Show her you are the greatest thing in the world, the supplier of treats!!

(Oh and if you haven't already, I think you would really enjoy Goosemoose.com which is a rat forum. Tons of rat enthusiasts, including myself. And lots of rat pictures, and cage ideas..and advice!
post #14 of 18
You can also try wearing something with a hood or a front pocket (that you wouldn't mind getting pee/poo/holes in) and let her hide out in the pocket until she comfortable with your scent enough to come out and play.

Treats are a great help too! My boys like little frozen drops of plain yogurt, and most fruits/veggies. Some rats won't take food right away or are too busy playing to care, though!

The dapper rat has lots of ideas for toys and you could also check goosemoose or ratforum too.

A flat dish with water and peas in entertains my boys for hours... or tying a treat to the top of the cage and letting them try to figure out how to get it down... They also like to dig (but be prepared for the mess that will follow! ) I bury some treats under clean soil for them to search for.

Some rats like wheels, just make sure you get one that's big enough for her when she's full grown. My lazy boys ignore their wheel, so it's a bed.
post #15 of 18
I have 9 rats and a degu!
Semi over run at the moment though. I had a bout last year where I lost all of my babies except for one (my heart rat Tootsie) so I got her a friend (Popcorn), well Popcorn was pregnant so Tootsie had to lose her friend for a bit with playdates on the couch. I left for 6 weeks to live with my parents (co-op) and Tootsie left me, luckily I had all these babies to love when I got home but I've never gotten over her. Especially since I have a rat tattoo now dedicated to her.

Funny story though, when my Toots passed, Mike put her in a bag and inside a shoebox and stuck her in the freezer so I could say goodbye. Well when I came back for a week before going to my other co-op I wasn't up to saying goodbye. I got a job from my co-op and my parents moved us up here. I got a call at work from my mom being like "I've never had to ask this but what should I do with the dead rat in your freezer".
post #16 of 18
Another rat fancier here!

You have gotten some good advice!!!
Aspen and Yesterdays News,this is what I use! Been using them for yrs.

Yes,for the most part rats thrive in company of other rats.
No matter how much attention and love you give them,it doesn't compare to the company of other rats,especially when you go out somewhere.I have had lone rats before,but only because they would NOT accept other rats.They lived happy lives anyway.But I would still get a friend.Rat intros usually go pretty well.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Just a quick update on My little Gilda. She is not so small any more. I have recycled paper bedding for her now. I am doing the "pouch method" of taming. It seems to be working good. She comes out and explores. When it gets too much, she runs back into the safe zone. Rats are smart critters! i love her whiskers and round pink ears.

I did find the 'Ratforum' site and will check that out. I just want to say Thanks to all my Kitty Site friends.

P.S I will get her a friend, I need to do a lot of reading/research and learning for now. She is not going to be a lonley Rat.
post #18 of 18
I'm glad things are going well with your little girl.
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